FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 directors voted Tuesday to approve establishing a math team at Mt. Blue High School. The district will pick up the cost of busing and dues.

Math teacher Chelsae Arnold told the board she has wanted to start a team for several years. Arnold and fellow math teacher Jocelyn Cahill will be the advisers. They are not asking for a stipend.

Arnold has been in contact with the president of Central Maine Math League and they could join the Inland Division. The division includes Skowhegan, Mt. Abram, Carrabec, Messalonskee and Waterville high schools.

The Math Department and high school administration have agreed to pick up the dues, Arnold said. For a team of one to 18 students, it would cost $450 per year, and for a team of 19-35 students, it would be $575.

The league has five regular math meets per year in October, November, December, January and March and the state meet in April. Arnold believes they have missed the first meet.

Students compete on a team level and an individual level.

Board Chairwoman Jennifer Zweig Hebert asked Jonathan Chalmers, director of support services, if he had enough staff and busing. He said they could work something out.

“I think it is a great opportunity to have a math team at the school,” Superintendent Tom Ward said.

One of the board’s goals is to get students involved, he said.

Director Betsey Hyde of Temple asked if there would be any money left over from sports team budgets. They must budget for teams to go to state competitions each year and sometimes it doesn’t happen, she said.

“I would love to see this get going successfully and then we can have a debate team,” she said.

Chalmers estimated it would cost $200 per trip and he would look at the transportation budget to accommodate it.

Director Ryan Morgan of Farmington said anyone who knows him knows he is pretty strict on budgets.

“I think as a board, though, it is something we can encourage our students to reach a little further in math,” he said. “We encourage them to be all that they can be.”

He made the motion to approve a math team and the vote passed unanimously.

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